Saturday, August 16, 2008

Preying on Republicans' wishes

At the risk of echoing a potentially misguided TPM report,..

I get all sorts of junk political mail asking for donations despite the fact that I've donated less than $100 in my entire life to political candidates (other than rubber chicken dinners for my county Republican committee). Recently I got one for Deborah Honeycutt, an African-American physician running as a Republican against an incumbent Af-Am Democrat in Georgia's 13th district.

Not that I was going to donate, but my curiosity was piqued. I went to the FEC website to see how the fundraising was going. Much to my surprise, very well! $2.8 million (almost all of it from individuals) versus $690,000 (the vast majority of it PAC money) for the incumbent Congressman David Scott. An odd discrepancy for a "majority minority" Cook "D+10" district.

Wouldn't that be great?! A black, professional, female Republican Congresscritter!

What does she have to show for it? Just under a quarter million in "cash on hand" with $131k in debt to boot. Turns out that most of those donations are plowed back in to direct mail fundraising.

The direct mail firm is preying on the hopes and wishes of Republicans across the nation who want so desperately to be more inclusive and long for the chance to show African-Americans that we want to embrace them. Nearly three million dollars from the pockets of Republicans who believe in the promise of "the Democratic party's worst nightmare".

But unfortunately this looks like money down the rabbit hole. All the more sad when one considers that the money could have been used on a viable race.

Erick at Peach Pundit has differing thoughts, saying that the TPM report was just trying to marginalize the direct mail fundraising mechanism that has worked so well for Republicans. He may have a point about the margins involved in direct mail and the new campaign finance reporting regime, but I still think this stinks.

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